There is an old saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. This might have been true years ago, but today there just might be a way. It is estimated that there are over 52 million senior dogs and cats in the U.S. Sadly, many of them will experience mild to severe cognitive deficits that affect their ability to learn, remember, and function properly. Most will go untreated. Behavioral signs such as disorientation, decreased social interaction, inappropriate urination or dedication inside the house, restlessness, and sleep disorders – all used to be considered indicative of senility or normal clinical signs associated with aging.
Scientists now believe that cognitive decline may have a biological basis related to diet. Two very important events occur as our dogs and cats age – their ability to digest and utilize food diminishes, and as a result, fewer nutrients that nourish the brain are available. We also know that while antioxidant levels drop with age, the amount of free radical attacks to the brain increase. This increases the amount of oxidative damage to the proteins and lipids of the brain, leading to cellular damage. Today we have clinical studies and various testing procedures that have demonstrated ways in which we can keep the brain of our aging dogs and cats functioning at normal levels. It has even been shown that cognitive dysfunction signs can be reversed to some extent. Keeping the brain stimulated is very important in slowing the neurological signs of aging.
Properly feeding the senior brain is equally important. Specific brain health nutrients support cognitive functions and can reverse many of the signs of dysfunction. Some of these nutrients include Docosahexaenoic acid, better known as DHA – one of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Phosphatidylcholine, Phosphatidylserine, Vitamin E, Pyridoxine or Vitamin B-6, and antioxidants. My Canine and Feline Cognitive Support products provide all the above nutrients known to be helpful in maintaining normal cognitive function in the dog and cat. Reducing the risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease in our pets may be as simple as providing them with more physical activity, social engagement, cognitive-enhancing activities, and feeding them optimum levels of brain nutrients.